This is a good family meal to have bubbling away on the stove on a rainy day, or any day for that matter. It doesn’t take long to prepare but once everything is in the pot you leave it for a good 3 hours or even more to work its magic, until the lamb meat is literally falling off the bone. You then get a couple of forks and shred all the meat, remove the bone, and finish with a good scattering of coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime juice.
My good friend Liz recommended this recipe to me as it went down well in her family of six. She pulled it out of the local paper and I have to say I was a little underwhelmed with the taste in the initial stages of cooking. I tasted the sauce before I returned the lamb and felt it was lacking that hit of spice that I love in Indian cooking. I tweaked it just a teeny tiny bit by adding a little more spice and a little brown sugar to sweeten the tomato puree but I still was not overly confident with the taste. The seared lamb leg went back in the pot and I didn’t taste it again until I served it and boy oh boy, it had been transformed! Why did I doubt? The flavours all came together and the coriander and lime juice finished it off perfectly. Everyone loved this and there was quite the rush for leftovers the next day.
tomato and coriander indian lamb
(adapted slightly from a recipe in The Courier Mail)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 kg leg of lamb
2 large brown onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 teaspoons ground coriander
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder (less if you are not wanting it too spicy)
1 teaspoons brown sugar
410g can tomato puree
1 cup chicken stock
coriander leaves, chopped
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb for a few minutes on each side until browned. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce the heat to low and cook the onions, stirring often, until cooked and soft. Add garlic, coriander, cinnamon sticks, cloves, mustard seeds, ginger, turmeric and chilli. Stir until the the spices are fragrant and the mustard seeds start to pop.
Pour in the tomato puree, brown sugar, stock and 1 cup of water. Taste and season. Return the lamb, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer for 3 hours or until the lamb is tender and falling off the bone. Turn once half way through cooking.
Pull the meat off the bone – I find this easier to do by remove the leg of lamb to a big carving board. Shred the meat and return to the tomato broth. Stir and serve with steamed rice. Top with the coriander leaves and a lime half to squeeze over.